05 April 2014

E is for Eating: Healthy Eating is Sensual Eating

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Back in January, I began the One Page a Day Challenge and immediately threw away my quill.  Now in April, I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and prepping for a Wilderness Writers’ Retreat.  I need ink, a stiff drink and therapy.

at to live, not live to eat.

Old, sound advice.  Short enough for a tweet.  But it doesn’t really address the issues most of us face today when it comes to our relationship with food.

Even the most fit and healthy people I’ve met have an unhealthy and bizarre relationship with food.

And it seems to be mainly an American problem.

E is for Eating Mindfully, Not Emotionally
Yesterday, I mentioned that I had been doing pretty well in the healthy food department.  What I didn’t realize was that my healthy eating was doomed from the start.  Because I never addressed why I had been eating unhealthy for the past few years, when circumstances and situations changed ~ as they always do ~ I fell off the veggie wagon and into a vat of bacon grease.

And no, I’m not a bacon hater.  I’m a bacon lover ~ in moderation.  But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  And using food as a way to avoid uncomfortable emotions is not healthy.

No matter what lies your amygdala is telling you.

Just telling myself this didn't help me kick the emotional eating habit though.  Even being aware of when I was eating out of boredom or sadness didn’t help.  I would say, I know I’m only eating this because of X, Y, or Z, not hunger….but I’m going to do it anyway.  I needed more motivation.

Enter my wilderness writing adventure. 

Although participants don’t have to be able to run a marathon to be accepted into the program, there is a reasonable expectation of health. 

And I may have mentioned a time or three about da bears.  Funny how my time on the treadmill is so much better when I picture a Beorn-sized grizzly chasing me. 

Who says Tolkien isn’t a good work-out partner?

But there is still the issue of that lying little piece of brain in the back there.  How to appease the sensation and affection loving amygdala, without horrifying my abused digestive tract?

E is for Everyday Ecstasy
Image Credit: Brambleberry Cottage
In Europe, every meal is a mini celebration, a feast for all five senses that is meant to be enjoyed and explored, as one would a lover.

In America, meals are more like a quickie in a dive bar bathroom.  Only it’s much worse ~ it’s a drive-thru.


This is not how food was meant to be eaten, my friends.  And that isn’t really food anyway.  It’s mashed up bits and pieces that even the dogs wouldn’t eat.  So before we do anything, let’s make sure we’re eating locally grown, organic meat, veggies, and fruit.

And then, let’s eat with a sense of elegance and sensuous enjoyment.  You’ll be surprised how fuller and more satisfied you’ll feel.  Food will no longer be the enemy, but a beloved partner in your pursuit of health.

Ooh la la!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

How do you make food special?  Do you celebrate every day?

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